Tuesday November 9 2010
Baggio: 'Robbed of 2002 World Cup'

Italy legend Roberto Baggio reveals he'll never forgive Giovanni Trapattoni. “I should've been at the 2002 World Cup, even if I was in a wheelchair.”

The Divine Ponytail had recovered from an injury in record time, but was left out of the squad going to Japan and South Korea by Italy Coach Trapattoni.

“It would've been my fourth World Cup and I should have been there. It was right. It was sacrosanct,” he told the Italian edition of Vanity Fair.

“Considering the career I'd had, I had that right. They should've taken me along and given me that chance, even if I was in a wheelchair.

“FIFA had just expanded the squads to 23 players and they did it so that Ronaldo and I could participate, as we were both coming off injuries and could've been considered a risk.

“One more man, what was the problem? Instead Ronaldo went, he was born again and he won the World Cup as top scorer. I stayed at home.”

Baggio's rapport with the tournament has never been a good one, as he went out of three World Cups in shoot-outs.

“It really burns me to have lost the 1994 Final to Brazil on penalties. If you lose 3-0, then you can accept that. It's better for everyone, both those who win and those who lose.

“Ask anyone, even those who won in Berlin, that they are happy with the victory, but would've been happier without the shoot-out element. Losing on spot-kicks is really painful.

“I have lost three World Cups, all on penalties. In Italia '90 without losing a single game, as we won every one apart from the semi-final draw with Argentina.

“In USA '94 we lost the Final with my penalty over the bar. At France '98 in the quarter-final against the Bleus side that went on to lift the trophy, where I had scored my penalty. If you'll allow me this, it really gets on my nerves.”